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FAA ISAC Update December 18

ISAC Update

VOL. 37, NO. 1F
July 2019

Messages sent to:   Multiple Subscription Groups
Financial Aid Directors
ISAC Update

Welcome to the July 2019 ISAC Update for financial aid administrators and business officers. This version of the electronic ISAC Update is a compilation of e-Messages sent through ISAC's e-Messaging service throughout July.

The articles in this Update have been organized according to the FAA subscription groups to which the messages were distributed.

Questions?

Questions regarding information in this ISAC Update can be directed to School Services at 866.247.2172 or at isac.schoolservices@illinois.gov. On occasion, you may be directed to a specific contact person or area; when this occurs, we will provide the appropriate information in the individual article or message.


MULTIPLE SUBSCRIPTION GROUPS


MAP Updates
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on July 31, 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org).

The following information is being provided to assist colleges as they administer the Monetary Award Program (MAP) for their students.

2018-19 MAP Close-out

  • Colleges are encouraged to complete the process of reconciling 2018-19 MAP data.
    • Cancellations and decreases to previously-submitted claims will continue to be accepted through (including) Friday, August 9, 2019.
    • As part of the payment offset process, timely processing of cancellations and decreases will affect your institution's 2018-19 MAP "Due to ISAC" amount.
  • On Saturday, August 10, 2019, 2018-19 MAP data will become available for historical view only.
    • As a reminder, reports continue to be available for colleges to access after data has been moved to historical view.

"Due to ISAC" Notifications

  • Notifications detailing the 2018-19 MAP "Due to ISAC" amount will be sent to financial aid directors in August.
    • Funds should not be returned to ISAC until after a "Due to ISAC" notification has been received.
  • Upon receipt of the "Due to ISAC" notification, please review the information and return the appropriate amount to ISAC as soon as possible, using the Gift Assistance Programs Refund Check Form (which is available within the Refunds and Unpaid Claims portion of the Financial Aid Administrators – Processes area).
    • Be sure to provide all information requested on the form, including the term(s) for which funds are being returned.

2019-20 Payment Processing

We anticipate that 2019-20 MAP payment requests will begin to be accepted in August, 2019.

  • All pending 2019-20 MAP payment requests – regardless of submission method (i.e., the MAP system or FTP) – should be held and not submitted until after we announce that payment processing has been opened.
  • You will be notified regarding the implementation of 2019-20 MAP payment processing via our established methods of communication (i.e., MAP Program News, the FAA Message Board, direct e-mail announcements and/or this e-Messaging service).
  • Once open, payment processing will take place on a nightly basis, as is our usual practice.

Upcoming ISAC Webinars
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, MAP Users, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on July 24, 2019.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will offer the following webinars for financial aid administrators during the third quarter of 2019:

  • July 31 at 2 p.m. – ISAC Update and a Review of Residency Rules for ISAC Programs
  • August 28 at 2 p.m. – ISAC Operational Update for 2019-20 Processing
  • September 25 at 2 p.m. – Preparing for 2020-21 FAFSA Processing and 2020-21 MAP Start-Up

To participate in these webinars, visit the Partner Training page in the e-Library at isac.org to access the webinar link and presentation materials, both of which will be posted on the day of the session. Registration is not required for the webinars, and any specific questions you would like a webinar to address may be submitted via e-mail to Kimberly.Eck@illinois.gov prior to the session.


Implementing the Education Loan Information Pilot Program
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, and FFELP Administrators on July 18, 2019.

Beginning with the upcoming 2019-20 academic year, Illinois public universities and public community colleges are required to implement the newly created Education Loan Information Pilot Program. A result of the 2018 spring session of the Illinois General Assembly (Public Act 100-0926), the three-year pilot program will be in effect until June 1, 2023, and was formalized by ISAC Administrative Rules that were effective July 1, 2019.

The Education Loan Information Pilot Program requires that colleges each year provide students enrolled at their institution, and the students' parents or guardians, with information about all outstanding education loans. Education loans are defined as any state or federal education loan or other loan that is used primarily to finance a postsecondary education and cost of attendance.

Information provided to borrowers is to include:

  • an estimate of the total amount of education loans taken out by the student or parent/guardian;
  • an estimate of the total payoff of the loans or a range of the total payoff amount;
  • monthly repayment amounts for a borrower based on the total amount borrowed (including principal and interest);
  • the percentage of the borrowing limit that has been reached; and
  • any financial resources available to the borrower.

To assist colleges with the implementation and administration of the program, information was added to the Loan Counseling area of the isac.org website. Available on the page is general program information, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) document which provides detailed guidance for implementing the program, and a resource document with links to other helpful information, including financial literacy resources. The FAQ's document is also accessible on the Partner Training page, and resources were added under the "Education Loan Programs" heading of the Electronic Tools page.

Additionally, ISAC designed sample templates that can be utilized by colleges when making annual notifications. Because Illinois' program mandates that along with student borrowers, their parents or guardians are to receive the yearly loan information, three separate templates are available, one each for students, parents and guardians. It is not required that ISAC's templates be used; colleges are free to implement a process that works best for their offices for compliance with the requirements of the program.


2019-20 ISAC Administrative Rules Available
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on July 11, 2019.

The 2019-20 ISAC Administrative Rules, effective July 1, 2019, are now available for reference at the ISAC website.  The rules are accessible in two different locations:

  • in the e-Library of isac.org, by clicking on #4, Administrative Rules, and
  • in the About ISAC area of isac.org , by clicking on Administrative Rules.

Amendments were made to three Parts this year:  General Provisions, Monetary Award Program (MAP), and Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program.  Additionally, a new Part was added – Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program – to establish rules for the program that was newly created during the 2018 legislative session.  It should be noted, however, that funding for the Community Behavioral program was not included in the FY20 state operating budget.  As a result, although rules were established, there will be no program activity in the year that began on July 1. 

While some of the amendments were of an administrative nature for purposes of clarity, more substantive amendments were made to three areas.

  • Language was added to General Provisions to incorporate the requirements for public institutions to annually provide its students or the student’s parents/guardians with education loan information related to the amount of the student’s or parent’s borrowing.  In response to questions we have received regarding this topic, we are preparing a dedicated e-Message and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) document; both will be available in the near future.
  • Language was added to General Provisions allowing colleges more flexibility in the documents used for verifying Illinois residency.
  • Language was added to the MAP rules to incorporate the requirement for ISAC to annually publish a priority deadline date for returning recipients to ensure those applicants receive a grant.

Limited Release of 2019-20 MAP Suspense
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on July 10, 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, links in this message are to corresponding pages at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org).

The following information is being shared to assist colleges in the administration of the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

Limited Release of 2019-20 MAP Awards in Suspense Status

When 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) filing commenced on October 1, 2018, ISAC staff began to monitor and analyze MAP application volume and projected claim rates. As a result of that analysis, the current 2019-20 MAP suspense date of April 29, 2019 was announced in the spring.

As outlined in a June 26, 2019 e-Message, the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) state operating budget that was signed into law in June includes a MAP appropriation of just over $451 million. This amount reflects an increase of $50 million that had not been anticipated when the MAP suspense date of April 29 was originally announced.

The additional funds included in the FY20 MAP appropriation are being used not only to increase the amount of the maximum MAP grant as calculated by the recompute formula but, also, to release approximately four weeks of suspended 2019-20 MAP award announcements. As a result, ISAC is releasing 2019-20 MAP grants from suspense status for students whose initial FAFSA receipt dates were April 29, 2019 through and including May 26, 2019. These released records may be viewed in the MAP system starting on Thursday, July 11, 2019. All 2019-20 MAP grants for eligible students with initial FAFSA receipt dates on or after May 27, 2019, remain in suspense status.

Identifying Student Records – MAP Filter/Report

Colleges will want to identify student records included in the limited release of suspense, as well as those that will remain in suspense status, for a variety of reasons (i.e., file review and repackaging, etc.). The MAP Student List Eligibility: View screen contains filters that allow you to identify both those groups of student records.

To identify student records released from suspense, create a listing of student records using a date range. For example, you can create a report that identifies students by application receipt date (i.e., the initial FAFSA receipt date) using the 2019-20 release from suspension dates (April 29, 2019 through May 26, 2019) to identify the records in that range.

The filter will also allow the user to create a report of those records that remain in suspense status.

Further details regarding identifying student records are provided at the Suspension of MAP Award Announcements page, located within the MAP section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.


Time's Running Out – Register for CCE Conference
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, Public Schools - Participating in the ING Grant and IVG Programs, MAP Users, Business Officers, and FFELP Administrators on July 8, 2019.

CCE Conference Logo

Register Now!

2019 College Changes Everything® (CCE) Conference

July 18, 2019 • 8 am – 4:30 pm

Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park, Illinois

CCE 2019: Expanding Success for All Students – Every Community's Responsibility

Don't delay – register today for the 2019 College Changes Everything® (CCE) conference. Join your colleagues from across the state as they come together to share and learn how we can work together better in helping students achieve success and our state reach its Goal 2025. Interest sessions topics include: supporting low income students through food insecurity and housing instability; reducing remediation and accelerating college success; leveraging community-based partnerships to support career readiness; supporting Illinois' immigrant populations; addressing the state's teacher shortage; middle-school career exploration; and much more. A preliminary agenda is available on the conference website, as well as information about our keynote speaker from The Forum for Youth Investment and Ready by 21® initiative.

Registrations are filling up and space is limited. Don't miss out on this important college access and success and career readiness conference – Register now!

Stay tuned for further updates regarding the 2019 conference, and please share this e-Message with your colleagues so they can register, too.


2019 College Changes Everything Conference Planning Committee

  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education
  • Illinois Community College Board
  • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Illinois College Access Network
  • Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities
  • Advance Illinois
  • Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University
  • Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University
  • Generations Serving Generations
  • ACT Now
  • Women Employed

The College Changes Everything® Conference is sponsored
by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Helping Illinois reach its Goal 2025: to increase the proportion
of adults in Illinois with high-quality college degrees and
postsecondary credentials to 60% by the year 2025


CCE


2019-20 MAP Recompute Implemented
Sent to Financial Aid Directors, Financial Aid Administrators, MAP Users, and Business Officers on July 1, 2019.

Unless otherwise noted, all links in this message may be accessed via the Financial Aid Administrators area at isac.org.

The following information is being shared by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) in order to assist colleges in the administration of the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

2019-20 MAP Recompute Implemented – MAP System Available

ISAC staff has completed verification of system changes related to implementation of the recompute formula, and the MAP system is again available.

All 2019-20 Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) data received from the Central Processing System (CPS) through (including) Thursday (June 27, 2019) is reflected in the MAP system, and we have returned to daily processing of ISIR data.

Online Resources

The 2019-20 MAP Formula section (located in the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area) and the "MAP Estimator" (which may be accessed by students via the Toolbox area of the ISAC Student Portal) have been updated to reflect the recompute formula.

Colleges may also want to visit the Calculating MAP Awards section of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area to access the 2019-20 Hand Calculation Forms – Recompute, as well as for instructions on how to calculate awards for semester or quarter terms.

Partial Release of Awards in Suspense Status

As indicated in a June 26 e-Message, additional funds included in the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) MAP appropriation will be used not only to increase the amount of the maximum MAP grant but, also, to release approximately four weeks of suspended 2019-20 MAP award announcements (i.e., a partial release of awards in suspense status). Now that the recompute formula has been implemented, ISAC staff will analyze data to determine the date through which award announcements can be extended. Once a specific date has been identified, the information will be shared with the financial aid community.

Watch for Future Updates

As updated information becomes available – including the specific date through which 2019-20 MAP award announcements will be extended – it will be shared with you via our established methods of communication (i.e., MAP Program News, the FAA Message Board and this e-Messaging service).

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FINANCIAL AID DIRECTORS


Program Update: Legal Guardianship
Sent on July 31, 2019.

Over the last few days there have been multiple news stories suggesting that some families who might not otherwise qualify for need-based federal and state financial aid may be using Illinois guardianship laws to make that child eligible for such aid. See, e.g. ProPublica Illinois.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has been made aware of this issue although to date ISAC has not received notice of a specific case in which the circumstances around a Monetary Award Program (MAP) recipient's guardianship status are in question. It is our understanding that the issue has been reported to the U.S. Department of Education – Office of Inspector General.

ISAC has been in contact with the office of the Illinois Attorney General and will of course cooperate in any investigations they might undertake.

If you suspect a case of fraud in obtaining funding through any ISAC-administered program, please contact ISAC and notify the appropriate federal and state authorities.

To the extent there is a loophole in or misconstruction of federal and/or Illinois law that would allow students to receive federal or state need-based aid for which they are not otherwise eligible, we would support efforts to address this issue while still preserving eligibility of MAP recipients who are under guardianship for legitimate reasons.

In FY19, 1,224 MAP recipients responded affirmatively to the guardianship question on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). We believe the vast majority of these students obtained their status for legitimate, and sadly, for often tragic reasons. We would want to ensure that any action to address this issue protects the interests of these vulnerable students. ISAC, like our school partners, is committed to maintaining the integrity of our financial aid programs to ensure that they serve the students for whom the programs were created.

As always, we appreciate your continued partnership in these efforts.

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ISAC UPDATE


June 2019 Electronic ISAC Update
Sent on July 1, 2019.

The June 2019 edition of the ISAC Update is now available for your review, and may be accessed via the Partner e-Messages & Newsletters section of the e-Library at isac.org. This version of the electronic ISAC Update is a compilation of e-Messages sent to financial aid administrators and business officers via ISAC's e-Messaging service over the past month.

Topics covered in the June 2019 ISAC Update include:

  • 2019-20 MAP Recompute Implementation
    (sent June 27, 2019)
  • 2019-20 MAP Recompute Formula Approved
    (sent June 26, 2019)
  • Register Now for CCE Conference
    (sent June 25, 2019)
  • Commission Meeting to be Held Monday, June 24 – Meeting Briefing Wednesday, June 26
    (sent June 19, 2019)
  • ISAC Program FY20 Funding – Budget Bill Approved
    (sent June 10, 2019)
  • MAP Advising Data Collection Opens – Due July 19
    (sent June 7, 2019)
  • CCE Conference – Preliminary Agenda & Keynote
    (sent June 5, 2019)
  • May 2019 Electronic ISAC Update
    (sent June 3, 2019)

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